To help her terminally ill father spend more time with the love of his life, a Langley woman helped organize one final Valentine’s Day surprise.
“He doesn’t have much time left, we know this is his last Valentine’s Day,” said Lauren Compton.
Compton’s father Dennis, 71, is currently battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in a Surrey hospice.
“On Valentine’s Day, I decided to pick him up and take him home to see my mom… he has always given her flowers on Valentine’s Day,” Compton noted.
In keeping with tradition Dennis arrived home on Valentine’s Day to gift his wife Janet, 63, a bouquet of blooms.
As a keepsake Compton made a video that documents the day leading up to her mother’s emotional reaction when she sees Dennis come home.
The video shows the pair sharing a tearful embrace.
“I didn’t originally plan on making a video… [and then] I just couldn’t stop watching it,” Compton said.
Dennis first started experiencing symptoms of ALS in March when he began to lack movement in his foot.
“He just wanted to fight really hard,” Compton explained.
After Dennis was diagnosed he created his own acronym for ALS: alive and living strong.
ALS is a disease that gradually paralyzes people because the brain is no longer able to communicate with the muscles of the body, according to the ALS Society of Canada.
“He didn’t actually think he would make it to Christmas,” Compton said.
To help their father add to his legacy Compton and her two sisters organized a gofundme campaign to raise money for the ALS Society of BC.
The goal was to raise $2,000, instead the campaign raised $24,000.
“He was so overwhelmed,” Compton said. “He was crying, he was so emotional.”
Because the group donated the money raised on Giving Tuesday the ALS Society of BC matched the donation.
“The money went directly to providing equipment to families who have someone struggling with ALS… so [they] can live comfortably in their home,” Compton explained.
Dennis has been fighting to stay alive until June, but Compton believes he doesn’t have much time left.
“He really wanted to survive until June 19 of this year because that’s [my parent’s] 40th wedding anniversary… he’s really hung up on this idea of hanging in their until their 40th wedding anniversary, but unfortunately that’s not going to happen for him.”